90 Merc Wagon shudders

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Old 03-19-03, 08:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 110
90 Merc Wagon shudders

Here are the details:
1990 Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park Wagon
5.0L EFI
147,000 miles
all services done at reasonably proper intervals
transmission fluid last changed about 3 months ago at 144,000 miles, old fluid was fine

All of a sudden there is a shudder/jerking at the low end of each gearand rpm range, such as when moving at very slow speeds (backing up with foot off accelerator, etc.) accelarating from stop, or when shifting up from 2 to 3, say, on an incline. Shudder diminishes at higher rpms until driving is nearly normal. Need to cpontinually force downshift to keep rpms in "the right range" to minimize/eliminate shudder.
When in park or neutral engine seems to idle normally, but when revving the engine there is a slight shuddering at the lowest rpms.

Not sure what that means. Suspect the engine, but feel I cannot yet rule out the transmission.

Would appreciate any troubleshooting advice. Have reviewed your "basics" and do not see anything there specifically appropriate to this problem. Obviously I can begin troublshooting all of the ingnition system components.

Would like to first osolate to engine or tranny. Then, if engine, what procedure would you suggest to be most likley to isolate the problem?

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Old 03-19-03, 10:41 AM
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Check your motor and tranny mounts. Barring that, have a good tranny shop go for a ride. Might be torque converter shudder.
Old 03-19-03, 11:03 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 110
torque converter shudder

What is torque converter shudder, and what is the fix, if I may ask?
Old 03-19-03, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
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Have you checked for a misfire in the engine?
Old 03-19-03, 03:17 PM
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When's the last time this thing saw any maintenance such as a tuneup?
Old 03-20-03, 05:52 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 110
replies to JoeF and DaveO

DaveO, exactly what I was looking for in the way of assistance. I still am not convinced that I know whether it is engine or tranny. I wuld appreciate some basic advice on how to isolate the problem. I can certainly start changing out parts, like plugs and wires, etc., but just doing that is rather unstructured. I have a very good DVM with inductive pickup and all kinds of goodies, but I do not spend weekends diagnosing sublte and not so subtle engine/tran problems. That was what I was hoping for from this site. I'd love to learn more and get better at it, and was hoping for such advice here.

JoeF: Now it's my turn to chide you a bit and tell you to read my post before you post a question. I clearly stated I had kept up with maintenenace on this car. I changed out the plugs, coil, wires, and distrib cap no more than 20K ago. Certainly could be a problem there. But, my question is how to go about diagnosing the problem, especially given that there are no obvious components out of the maintenance window.

First, I was trying to isolate to tranny or engine. You do not seem to have much advice for me. As for torque converter shudder, since you don't seem to know much about it, or chose not to respond for some other reason, I did a lot of reading on the net last night. My conclusion is that while it could be my problem, I kind of doubt it since it does not quite fit the descriptions I read. But I am still not sure, and would love to know some basic tests to check it out.

I'll add one more comment to you which I am sure will not be well received, but here goes.

More often than not I am disappointed with the way this forum is handled. People who post to this forum are seeking assistance and presumably do not know what you know. Yet, they are treated as though their ignorance is a failing on their part, when the very reason they post is their ignorance. Your "basics" post is not very helpful unless one happens to have a dead car - maybe.

I admit it, I am not an expert on auto repair. I am a very busy father of three who works 50-60 hours per week on my day job. I need some help with diagnostics. I don't need condescension. Maybe you think I do, but at least for the sake of those who don't complain, there could be some benefit in reviewing the basics as far as actually perfroming diagnostics. I am sure you are knowledgeable and I would appreciate your assistance. If you do not want to provide it, then why are you doing this? So, let's try again. Exactly what would you do to (1) isolate the problem to engine or tranny, and (2) if engine, then isolate the performance problem further?

I would greatly appreciate clear and reasonably easy to follow (I am more than willing to admit to being challenged on following directions, so reasonable is all I ask) answers to these 2 specific questions.

Thanks for your consideration of my comments.
Old 03-20-03, 06:11 AM
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Sorry, you give us ZERO to go on. READ 'READ HERE BEFORE POSTING'. Those are REQUIREMENTS to help, not "nice to have".

I can also tell by your original post, you DID NOT read this post before posting, NOR did you read it carefully.

You don't tell us when it was tuned up. What you think is current as far as a tune up may be LONG overdue. Reasonably proper intervals for you might be WAY overdue for those of us in the trade.

Remember, I am not at the machine. YOU are. YOU must be the eyes and ears for us.

A good part of "doing it yourself" is HELPING yourself. In that, you MUST provide the needed information.

Another thing: EVERY moderator here does this for free. I'm just as busy, if not twice as busy as you are, as are all the moderators here. People CHARGE for this information, we PROVIDE it for free. If that disappoints you, seek a mechanic's assistance---see what they charge you. You're not going to like it.

As Davo and I have asked for, read the post and provide the needed information so we have a chance to help!!!!
Old 03-20-03, 06:39 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 110
Geez what a grouch!

I am absolutely stunned by your response. Where exactly in your "basics" do you ask for the specific info that you say I have not given you? I have read it several times. It is not what you think it is.

I gave you an articulate and detailed description of my problem. To say I gave you "ZERO" to go on is a clear fabrication on your part. How about if I go and get the car repaired and then report back to you? Would that satisfy you? Then you could really second guess me for not being able to fix my own problems.

As for you being a volunteer - so what? No one is forcing you to do this. You ought to at least try to do it with some care, pride and decorum. My advice to you would be to consider whether or not you are actually a volunteer who is largely ineffective and therefore wasting your time. That would be a reason to feel sorry for someone.

After all of this, I am beginning to believe that you are actually incapable of giving basic advice and instruction. You have yet to deal substantively with my post. Count to 10 and read what I have written. You are flat out wrong, and my challenge to you is to at least undertake what you claim to be doing here, namely, giving advice and assistance.

What I expect instead is that you will continue to "blow me off".
Old 03-20-03, 06:45 AM
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Read the post and you will understand. You haven't provided us a thing.

YOU haven't read the post. I see no listing of what parts changed, what mileage, what has been done.

You have also not read "Read here before Posting" which mentions SPECIFIC things I ask for. All of the things I have asked you for repeatedly ARE there. NO DETAIL IS TOO SMALL.

Right now we are pretty short on details!

1) Have you checked the fuel pressure? No you have not.
2) Was the vehicle tuned up in the past 10k miles? Unknown
3) Was a compression check done? No
4) Vacuum leak check done? No
5) Code/fault code reading done? No
6) Any maintenance history SPECIFICALLY provided? No.


Sounds like you have some work to do. Now drop your 'tude, answer my questions, and we can move on.

Trust me, you're on thin ice with your reply. I am very close to closing this post due to your obvious inability to appreciate the resources that have been provided to you. I cannot fix the car for you, you have to do it. Help yourself, read what's been written here by me and others.

It seems that you do not appreciate the help being given to you. I am more than capable to provide more basic advice than you can understand----as can most here. This is a board of professionals WHO WILLINGLY DONATE THEIR TIME AND EXPERTISE FOR FREE. It's obvious by your reply, you do not appreciate that.

If you think my questions are not important, you would have HAD YOUR ANSWER AND FIGURED IT OUT ALREADY!!! You are coming here for help. That's fine. But the rules are played this forum's way. I do not see your name as a moderator on this forum.

Now drop your 'tude and get to work on what's been suggested.

If you cannot comply in a manner that is appropriate to this forum and continue to exhibit an attitude, the post will be closed.

This forum has no time and bandwidth to waste on attitude.

The choice is yours.

Last edited by Joe_F; 03-20-03 at 07:10 AM.
Old 03-20-03, 09:23 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: USA
Posts: 110
sure, whatever

***Help Us Help You - Please include as much information as possible***

So on that note ,

1) State Year, make, model, and engine size, body type if applicable to the problem.

2) What the problem is. What conditions it does it under. How often it happens.

3) What attempts have been made to fix the problem, either by you or a mechanic. What parts have been changed? No detail too small.

OK, so how does a "non-professional" such as me get from the above 3 items to the 6 items you think I was supposed to know to provide? C'mon, who has the "tude?" You just do not like to be questioned about anything do you? Using the word "professional" does not make you one. you must actually demonstrate professionalism. You do not.

I gave you the answers to the information your requested, with the exception of telling you that no repairs had yet been attempted. Though I would expect that was pretty obvious since I specifically asked for help to BEGIN diagnostics. BUt then, I guess it's ok for you to expect me to deduce 6 items from 3, but I am "on thin ice" when I would expect you to draw a logical conclusion from my feeble attempts to articulate to a real "professional."

By the way, what could it possibly mean to write in an email on a do-it-yourself site that I am "on thin ice?" Do you hear yourself? Do you really think that is "professional?" And you stilll have not offered the first iota of advice. I guess it's just not possible from you. I am sure by now the well is poisoned, so there is no further point in discussing this.

You are not helpful, and you are not trying to be helpful. You just want to be right. OK, go be right. Have a great time.

I'll register my concerns with your sponsors, and I'll say a prayer for you. Would appreciate the same from you. I am not trying to be difficult - really. I obviously do not get it. And you are annoyed that I do not get it. You know what? I bet I'm not the only one. Ask yourself? Are you treating me this way because of my particular "tude". Or do you treat everyone this way?

Best wishes - really. I'll go check out some other sites. No need to respond.
Old 03-20-03, 10:36 AM
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Thumbs down

Bail out and have the vehicle serviced professionally. You are not listening properly and are not following proper diagnostic procedure. It is safer for you and the vehicle in the long run. Honestly.

I have said, multiple times to also read "READ HERE BEFORE POSTING". It is the sticky at the top of the page of the forum. In there, we state multiple times what is required.

So let's break this down:

1) You stated this. Very good.

2) You gave us some description here. OK.

3) Here's where the failure comes on your part. I have not seen what attempts have been made by your or any professional to correct the problem. It is a waste of my time and the forum's time to beat the information out of you. I might be recommending something you did already. Someone could have you throw a part at the problem that has nothing to do with the problem at hand. Would you like to go to a doctor and have him say, "Mr. Smith, medicine A didn't work, and neither did treatment A, so we'll just keep experimenting until we figure it out. Don't worry, we'll get there".

What good would that be? Zero. Remember, we owe you ZERO. We are trying to help. Think of auto repair as akin to going to the doctor.

You still haven't answered my questions to you. Have you done those six or so things I asked for (compression check, vacuum leaks, etc, etc?). No, you have not! We cannot proceed if you do not knock out the basics. Do you have a repair manual for the vehicle? If not, why not?

You're asking us to recommend where to start, but you have not told us what you've done. I shouldn't have to beat the information out of you. Look at my one of my posts on another forum asking for their help. You'll see I'm detailed, give specifics, offer photos of what I've done, etc to make life easy for others replying.

I'm a very busy guy. So are most folks on this forum. I don't like to repeat myself or repeat what you should have checked first! It's ok to ask, but the onus is on you to report back the results of what we found.

Case in point: If you are working on an engine that has poor compression, what good would throwing parts at it be? You'd spend more than the car would ever be worth and STILL not solve the problem!

You seem to believe someone owes you an answer. Here's a newsflash: I have 10,000+ posts on this forum, helping folks from all ends of the earth. It is a good feeling. 99% of those people really appreciate it. For the 1% of folks like you that think I should lead you by the hand, refuse to read and answer my questions and put up with your insults, I say this:

Go have it done professionally, take the bus or junk the vehicle. All three options are cheaper for everyone involved.

Insulting people trying to help you is not the way to get the help you need. Personal attacks on people in this forum are not permitted and show unprofessionalism.

Post is closed. Do us a favor and drop the attitude. The vehicle you fix may be your own.

By the way: I have no "sponsor". This forum is stricly a volunteer moderator forum. We do it for free, and for those that don't appreciate what we provide, I suggest they chose the alternative of paying for the repair.

In that light, you will see (as will your wallet) that we are trying to help you. You are not trying to help yourself.

The choice was yours to act appropriately and now you're SOL.

Last edited by Joe_F; 03-20-03 at 11:13 AM.
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